My name is Samuel Jesmer, but you can call me Sam. I have always been into fitness and light running, but I never realized how passionate I was for it until recently. Back in August 2020, I was challenged by a friend to run the Miami Marathon with her. If you know me, I never back down from a challenge, however I have never been much of a long distance runner. Determined to accomplish this challenge, my training began.
As the Miami Marathon got closer, I became more and more excited to finish those 26 miles. However, a few months before the race, it was cancelled. Not wanting to let our training go to waste, my friend and I signed up for another marathon a month later. However, our luck continued. Half way through the marathon, lightning became present and the race was cancelled. My friend and I finished our race still by running all the way back to our AirBnB which would cover the last 13 miles. I still did not feel complete though, so I signed up for another marathon a week later. Crazy, I know, but the runner's high got to me. That is why I decided to organize my own 100 mile run down in the Florida Keys, from Key Largo to Key West!
When I first began my marathon journey, I one day passed a young man who was in a wheelchair. Seeing him, I instantly became grateful and appreciate the fact I am able to do the one thing I love- running. After that day, I also decided to dedicate my runs to those who can’t due to illness or disabilities and I wanted to find a way to impact their lives. For my 100 mile run coming up in September 2021, I decided to create a fundraiser but was unsure of what organization to dedicate the funds to. Then I watched a documentary on Netflix called the “7 Yards”, it's an inspiring story of a young man that was faced with the challenge of hearing the doctor tell him he will never walk again because he was paralyzed from a football injury in college. But he was determined from day one he was going to walk again! He went through extensive training and therapy to reach his goal. His name is Chris Norton and he created a foundation named Chris Norton Foundation (formly SCI CAN Foundaion), to create a better life for those who are paraplegic. The foundation funds various levels of accommodations and neuromuscular deficiencies equipment, and facilitates opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist for paraplegic people. The foundation also started a free family Wheelchair Camp, for those to enjoy a variety of different activities (The camp is actually coming up in June! link below). Just like Chris says “Everyone deserves a fair shot at recovery!”
For more information about the Chris Norton Foundation:
Website https://chrisnorton.org/foundation/ Video of the Wheelchair Camp https://chrisnorton.org/wheelchair-camp/ Wheelchair Camp https://chrisnorton.org/wheelchair-camp/ Documentary On Netflix https://chrisnorton.org/book-movie/
You can also donate on the Chris Norton Foundation Website! Just let me know so we can count it towards the goal!